Scarlets welcome back internationals for West Wales derby

Rob Lloyd News

Head coach Dwayne Peel has welcomed back a number of his experienced players for Sunday’s West Wales derby against the Ospreys (15:00, Viaplay).

The Scarlets starting line-up for the round six BKT United Rugby Championship clash shows eight personnel changes from the team that took the field in Dublin last weekend with skipper Gareth Davies, fly-half Ioan Lloyd and Tongan international Vaea Fifita among those returning.

Johnny McNicholl is also back in the No.15 jersey. Tom Rogers switches to right wing and Steff Evans is recalled on the left.

Joe Roberts partners Johnny Williams in midfield, while Lloyd and Davies are restored as the half-back pairing.

Up front, Wales internationals Wyn Jones and Ryan Elias come into the front row alongside Harri O’Connor. Alex Craig and Jac Price continue at lock, while Fifita gets the nod at blindside flanker in a back row that also contains Teddy Leatherbarrow and Carwyn Tuipulotu.

With Samson Lee on the injury list and Sam Wainwright unavailable for personal reasons, prop Joe Jones, who has signed from Sale Sharks, is named among the replacements.

Dwayne Peel said: “I loved these derbies as a player. The first thing you speak about is the rivalry when you look back at the past games. We haven’t won in Swansea for a while, so that’s a big challenge for us. There’s a lot at stake and we are looking forward to the challenge of going there.

“The Ospreys are a tough team to beat. Their forward pack can be real abrasive. They have always been a combative side and that’s the challenge we have to rise to. We have our own style, they have their style, so it will be good. Derbies tend to throw up different emotions, different styles of play. We are under no illusions, To go there and win, we are going to have to be very good.”

Scarlets team to play Ospreys at the Swansea.com Stadium on Sunday, November 26 (15:00)

15 Johnny McNIcholl; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Joe Roberts, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Gareth Davies (capt); 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Harri O’Connor, 4 Alex Craig, 5 Jac Price, 6 Vaea Fifita, 7 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu.

Reps: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Ben Williams, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Charlie Titcombe, 23 Ioan Nicholas.

Players unavailable because of injury

Kemsley Mathias, Taine Plumtree, Josh Macleod, Dan Davis, Sam Lousi, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Dan Jones, Sam Costelow, Isaac Young.